- The first consideration is psychological: Recognize that you’re not being lazy; napping will make you more productive and more alert after you wake up.
- Try to nap in the morning or just after lunch; human circadian rhythms make late afternoons a more likely time to fall into deep (slow-wave) sleep, which will leave you groggy.
- Avoid consuming large quantities of caffeine as well as foods that are heavy in fat and sugar, which meddle with a person’s ability to fall asleep.
- Instead, in the hour or two before your nap time, eat foods high in calcium and protein, which promote sleep.
- Find a clean, quiet place where passersby and phones won’t disturb you.
- Try to darken your nap zone, or wear an eyeshade. Darkness stimulates melatonin, the sleep- inducing hormone.
- Remember that body temperature drops when you fall asleep. Raise the room temperature or use a blanket.
- Once you are relaxed and in position to fall asleep, set your alarm for the desired duration (see below).
How long is a good nap?
- THE NANO-NAP: 10 to 20 seconds. Sleep studies haven’t yet concluded whether there are benefits to these brief intervals, like when you nod off on someone’s shoulder on the train.
- THE MICRO-NAP: two to five minutes. Shown to be surprisingly effective at shedding sleepiness.
- THE MINI-NAP: five to 20 minutes. Increases alertness, stamina, motor learning, and motor performance.
- THE ORIGINAL POWER NAP: 20 minutes. Includes the benefits of the micro and the mini, but additionally improves muscle memory and clears the brain of useless built-up information, which helps with long-term memory (remembering facts, events, and names).
- THE LAZY MAN’S NAP: 50 to 90 minutes. Includes slow-wave plus REM sleep; good for improving perceptual processing; also when the system is flooded with human growth hormone, great for repairing bones and muscles.
Contrary to popular opinion, napping isn’t for the lazy or depressed. Famous nappers have included Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison. The moral of the story: to be ultra-productive, just rest your head. You snooze, you gain. Give it a try for yourself and see if you aren’t amazed at the results!
Don’t forget that Career Development Partners helps companies to “Hire, Inspire, Fire and Retire”. If we can assist you in any of these areas, please let me know.
TRAVIS JONES CEO
Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a well-known community servant and is dedicated to providing world-class service for everyone we encounter. Travis is a certified Life Options Retirement Coach and is certified to facilitate and deliver the Manager As Coach Learning Series (MACLS) through CPI. He serves on the board of Career Partners International (CPI) and is an equity partner in CPI, offering a global reach with over 220 offices. Travis serves on the Elder Board at Tulsa Bible Church, on the board of New Life Ranch and is a proud member of Tulsa Executives Association (TEA) and is active with several other organizations serving the community and beyond.